Moving Toward Forgiveness by Wendy Alsup

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


You can read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 – 50. He was betrayed by his own brothers into a lifetime of slavery far from his family. 

Can you imagine the weight of that betrayal on his heart? After all the suffering he had endured, what was it like for him to finally see his brothers face to face again in Genesis 42:5-13? Was he angry? Sad? Afraid? 

His brothers didn’t even recognize him. The situation seemed broken beyond repair. Can you identify with the internal conflict Joseph surely felt? 

When Joseph saw his brothers face to face in Egypt, reconciliation seemed impossible: the gulf too wide and the pain too deep to bridge. In the end, though—as we’ll see—Joseph would be reunited with his family, their relationship restored.

Our path to reconciliation is complicated too. We may feel the grief Joseph felt, but, frankly, we may not get to feel the relief of reconciliation on this side of eternity. However, that does not mean forgiveness and reconciliation are not worth pursuing. 

Our God does the impossible on a regular basis. He “gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist” (Romans 4:17). This is God’s character, and he is at work in our lives as he was in Joseph’s. 

Open yourself to hope for something better as we explore forgiveness for the next few days.    

  • In what relationship will you focus on extending forgiveness and working toward reconciliation?       

  • What makes forgiveness and reconciliation seem impossible in this relationship? What parallels do you see with Joseph’s situation?       

  • How have you seen God at work giving life and hope in other contexts? How might that give you hope for this relationship?